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Fernando Alonso wins 2007 European Grand Prix

December 12th, 2018

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

McLarenMercedes driver Fernando Alonso won the FIA Formula-1 2007 European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, Nürburg, Germany.

Although light rain began to fall during the formation lap, the start was relatively clean, marred only by a collision between the two BMW Sauber drivers. As the rain began to fall more heavily, the pit lane filled up with crews from every team expecting all the drivers to change to intermediate tyres at the end of the first lap. However Kimi Räikkönen, who had started in pole position and was leading the race, skidded across the pit-lane entrance and back out onto the track, forcing him to drive another lap in increasingly wet conditions.

Having opted to start the race from the pits on intermediate tyres Marcus Winkelhock, a rookie SpykerFerrari driver on his first ever Formula One race, quickly rose to become race leader despite having started the race in last position.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who had suffered a crash in the third qualifying session and started 10th on his repaired car, had a perfect start, gaining six places, but made contact with one of the BMWs on the first lap and punctured his left rear tyre.

Within several laps the track quickly became flooded, and on lap three Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg, Scott Speed, Anthony Davidson, and Antonio Liuzzi all aquaplaned off into the gravel trap at the same place – Liuzzi making contact with the tractor attempting to recover the other cars. The safety car was deployed for several laps but the increasingly dangerous conditions forced race officials to red-flag the race, bringing it to a complete stop until the rain cleared up, and drivers once again gathered on the starting grid for a restart. Despite needing to have his car lifted out of the gravel trap by a crane, Hamilton managed to keep his engine running, and in accordance with the rules regarding being moved from a dangerous position, was allowed to rejoin the restarting grid in last place, albeit a lap down on all the other drivers.

After about half an hour of stoppage, Winkelhock then led the pack off in a flying start behind the safety car. He was quickly overtaken by almost every car, before retiring due to mechanical problems.

For most of the race Felipe Massa led, pursued by world champion Fernando Alonso. Hamilton was the fastest driver on the track, but even at three seconds a lap faster than the other back-markers it took him a long time to catch the pack.

Rain was predicted to recommence approximately 20 minutes before the end of the race. Renault took a gamble by bringing Heikki Kovalainen in first for a tyre change, but they were too early, and he quickly dropped back from fifth position. Several laps later, there was a rush into the pits, with nobody wanting additional risks on the wet track. The “extreme wet” tyres reduced the pace of Massa’s Ferrari and allowed Alonso to come closer and push hard on his rival.

After two laps of constant pressure and overtaking attempts, Alonso passed Massa, and held him off until the finish. The aggressive attack style chosen by Spaniard caused a slight contact between their cars.

Kimi Raikkonen had been close behind Alonso, but his car suffered a breakdown and he had to park it alongside the track.

Mark Webber drove his Red Bull-Renault to the third place. His teammate David Coulthard also made a nice race finishing 5th from his 20th place on the starting grid. This became the most successful result for Red Bull in this season.

Still the third place of Webber was under threat from Alexander Wurz from WilliamsToyota who came closer and closer up to the finish line which they crossed with +0,263 sec distance.

The two BMW Saubers ended 6th and 7th. And the top eight was closed by Heikki Kovalainen from Renault.

For the first time from his debut Lewis Hamilton finished outside the points. His consistently quick pace throughout the race raised him up to tenth place, and in a final gamble he attempted to stay out on dry tyres during the second downpour. This raised him into the points temporarily, but after several slow laps he was forced to pit, and dropped back to tenth. In the dying laps he came within several seconds of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen, but although he managed to pass Fisichella, Kovalaninen remained out of reach, and Hamilton had to settle for ninth place. He remains leader of the drivers’ championship, but now only 2 points ahead of Alonso.

This was the first wet race since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

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France school bus crash kills one, leaves five seriously injured

December 12th, 2018

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

A bus crashed into a ditch in northern France, killing one man and leaving at least four people seriously injured, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed.

The crash occurred on the A26 autoroute, between Calais and Troyes, near Reims, at approximately 0300 CET (0200 UTC) this morning. The vehicle was carrying 29 school children and twenty or 21 adults, with the man killed being 59 years old. The 22 minorly injured and the four or five seriously injured are currently receiving hospital treatment.

The pupils, who attend Alvechurch Church of England Middle School in Worcestershire, England, were returning to the UK from a trip to Aosta Valley, a well-known skiing area in Italy. Those not injured have been transported to a local sports complex where the French Red Cross is providing psychological assistance.

Police tests have established that the driver was not drunk and has been tested negative for drugs. It is possible that he might have fallen asleep while driving. Details of how exactly the crash occurred are unclear presently. According to BBC News reporter Hugh Schofield, the vehicle “veered into the ditch at the side of the road and it was a very serious accident.” Video from the scene showed the coach, which was owned by an English company, had rolled onto its side.

To find out more about those involved in this crash, contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: 0207 008 1500

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BBC to cut Electric Proms for financial reasons

December 12th, 2018

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

File:Bbcr2electricpromslogo.jpg

The BBC have announced they are to axe annual music festival Electric Proms from their schedule for financial reasons. The festival first took place in October 2006. The 2011 event will not go ahead, with last year’s festival being the last.

Bob Shennan, controller of BBC Radio 2, said he was “disappointed” with the decision to cancel the festival. He said “In the current climate, we are faced with making difficult decisions, including how best to deliver high-quality live music programming throughout the year in light of continuing efficiency savings. I feel that Radio 2 can achieve the same impact of the Electric Proms in an alternative, more cost-effective way. I’m disappointed that the lifetime of Electric Proms has come to an end, but very proud of its fantastically rewarding run of creating new moments in music for the past five years.”

During the festival’s five year run it has featured performances from stars such as Elton John, Neil Diamond, and Shirley Bassey.

The decision to axe the festival comes at a time when the BBC are planning a 20% savings cut. Last week BBC director general Mark Thompson announced 650 job losses after dropping five languages from the BBC World Service.

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Schweinsteiger announces retirement from international football

December 11th, 2018

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Monday, August 1, 2016

On Friday, German football captain and Manchester United F.C. midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger announced retirement from international football.

Debuting in 2004, Schweinsteiger has won 120 international caps, Germany’s fourth all time most capped player. He was part of the German squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France and became the first German to play eighteen Euro matches, surpassing the fourteen-match record of Philip Lahm. Schweinsteiger has played in four Euro tournaments — 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.

Schweinsteiger said, “I have asked the national team coach to not consider me for Germany selection in future, as I would like to step down from the national team. I would like to thank the fans, the team, the DFB, the coaches and the national team’s backroom staff.” ((de))German language: ?ich habe soeben den Bundestrainer gebeten, mich in Zukunft bei der Nominierung für die Nationalmannschaft nicht mehr zu berücksichtigen, da ich gerne zurücktreten möchte. Mein Dank gilt den Fans, der Mannschaft, dem DFB, den Trainern und dem Team um die deutsche Nationalmannschaft.

Schweinsteiger won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has featured in three FIFA World Cup tournaments — in 2006, 2010 and 2014. He has played 38 matches in major international tournaments, which is a world record. Schweinsteiger’s last match in Germany’s jersey ended in a 2–0 defeat against France in the Euro 2016 semi-final.

After Schweinsteiger announced his retirement, his former Bayern Munich teammate and German player Thomas Müller tweeted, “Thanks for 120 international caps with the @DFB_Team [German Team] and many great and shared hours with the national team” ((de))German language: ?Danke für 120 Länderspiele im @DFB_Team [Deutschland Mannschaft] und viele großartige, gemeinsame stunder bei der Nationalmannschaft.

President of Guinea-Bissau assassinated

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President of Guinea-Bissau assassinated

December 11th, 2018

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Monday, March 2, 2009

According to officials, João Bernardo Vieira, the president of Guinea-Bissau, was shot to death on Monday in his palace by renegade soldiers.

“President Vieira was killed by the army as he tried to flee his house which was being attacked by a group of soldiers close to the chief of staff Tagme Na Waie, early this morning,” Zamora Induta, a military spokesman, said to Agence France-Presse, insisting that “this was not a coup d’etat.”

“We reaffirmed our intention to respect the democratically elected power and the constitution of the republic,” he said. “The people who killed President Vieira have not been arrested, but we are pursuing them. They are an isolated group. The situation is under control.”

Induta also said that the president was “taken down by bullets fired by these soldiers,” and that afterwards they looted his home. “They were taking everything they could carry, his personal belongings, the furniture, everything,” Induta said.

The assassination is believed to be a revenge for a bomb blast that killed one of Vieira’s rivals, the army chief of staff General Batista Tagme Na Waie, just a few hours earlier.

The constitution says that the nation’s parliament chief, Raimundo Pereira, is to succeed Vieira in the case of his death.

Jean Ping, the chief executive of the African Union, said that the assassination of the president was a “criminal act”.

Guinea-Bissau, located on the western coast of Africa, has had a history of coups, and is one of the world’s poorest countries. It is notorious as being a transit point for the cocaine trade between Europe and South America.

João Bernardo Vieira, born in 1939, came to power in Guinea-Bissau during a coup in 1980, but was forced out in 1999 when a civil war started. In 2005, he returned from his exile in Portugal to participate in the nation’s elections, and won the vote.

US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

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US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

December 11th, 2018

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

Global economy could lose up to 51 million jobs this year, says UN agency

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Global economy could lose up to 51 million jobs this year, says UN agency

December 11th, 2018

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

The International Labor Organization (ILO), a branch of the United Nations concerned with labor and workers’ rights issues, issued a report Wednesday explaining how the global economic crisis could create a global employment crisis by the end of the year.

“By the end of 2008 working poverty, vulnerable employment and unemployment were beginning to rise as the effects of the slowdown spread,” the report states. “If the recession deepens in 2009, as many forecasters expect, the global jobs crisis will worsen sharply.” Even for those who keep their jobs, the report predicts that “earnings and other conditions of employment will deteriorate.”

In a worst-case scenario, the ILO says 51 million jobs could be lost in 2009, meaning that 7.1% of the world’s working population would be out of a job. In a more realistic scenario, the report foresees a loss of 30 million jobs, with a global unemployment rate of 6.5%. The unemployment rate has increased in recent years, from 5.7% in 2007 to an estimated 6% in 2008.

Even the report’s most optimistic scenario for this year, a loss of 18 million jobs at an unemployment rate of 6.1%, is not much different than the ILO’s October 2008 prediction of 20 million jobs lost this year due to the financial crisis.

The report warns that developing countries in South Asia and Subsaharan Africa will be harshly affected by the economic crisis. Although working poverty – defined as having daily wages of US$2 or less – is on an overall decline, these regions are still characterized by poor working conditions, low salaries, and an insecure job market. This will only worsen in 2009, according to the ILO.

“Taking into account that a wage and salary job in poor regions may still not ensure all the components of a decent job, it becomes understandable that only a minority of working people have a job that is well paid, respects their fundamental rights and ensures some security in case of job loss, personal or family illnesses, or other difficulties.” The report says that by the end of 2008, nearly 53% of workers around the world could be in “vulnerable employment”.

In terms of actual unemployment, however, developed countries are the ones most likely to be affected by the downturn, as they are more tied to the global financial system. The unemployment rate in the European Union and other developed economies increased by 0.7 percentage points in 2008, the largest increase of all regions. “Globalization combined with rapid technological advances is another challenge for labour markets in the region,” the ILO says. “It is important for workers and employers to be ready and able to adjust quickly to change and to stiffer competition.”

A wage and salary job in poor regions may still not ensure all the components of a decent job…

Still, the unemployment rate of 6.4% in these developed countries is far less than in North Africa and the Middle East, which had unemployment rates of 10.3% and 9.4% respectively. East Asia had the lowest unemployment rate of the regions at 3.8%.

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The report urged global economies to take cooperative measures, including working with the United Nations, in order to stem the economic crisis. It also asks governments to address the “negative social consequences of globalization” by placing on emphasis an social justice-based programs targeted toward women, youth, and other “vulnerable groups”.

In particular, the ILO says governments should establish public infrastructure projects such as road construction, expand health insurance and unemployment benefits, and focus on the creation of green jobs when devising their stimulus plans. “When governments design fiscal stimulus packages, it is important that they consider employment-related goals, including explicit employment growth targets,” the report concluded.

“In the world, there remains a huge untapped labour potential, and economic growth and development could be much higher if everyone was given the chance of a decent job.”

Elderly man in Scotland dies after contracting H1N1 swine flu virus

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Elderly man in Scotland dies after contracting H1N1 swine flu virus

December 10th, 2018

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An elderly man in Scotland has died after contacting the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. The Scottish Government made the confirmation of the information on Monday.

The victim is said to have been suffering from underlying health problems. He came from the NHS Fife area. With the death of this victim, the number of deaths that have occurred in Scotland from the virus has now reached 30.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary, made a statement about the incident, and encouraged eligible persons to receive antiviral vaccines. “My deepest sympathy goes to the patient’s loved ones at this sad time,” she said.

“H1N1 can be devastating in a small number of cases but fortunately the vast majority of people only suffer fairly mild symptoms and make a full recovery. However, we must all remain vigilant and I would underline the importance of maintaining hygiene standards and urgently seeking medical advice if you believe you are at greater risk of influenza complications.”

Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

December 10th, 2018

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

Contents

  • 1 History of the WWW
  • 2 Future of the WWW
  • 3 Final question
  • 4 External links

Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation announce Bassel Khartabil Free Culture fellowship following execution of open culture activist

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Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation announce Bassel Khartabil Free Culture fellowship following execution of open culture activist

December 10th, 2018

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This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday, August 14, 2017

On Friday, several free knowledge, culture and open source oriented organisations — Creative Commons, Mozilla, and the Wikimedia Foundation, amongst others — collectively announced a three-year commitment for a free-culture fellowship to honour Bassel Khartabil’s continuing influence on the open web, during the Wikimedia’s annual conference Wikimania in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Palestinian-Syrian Khartabil was held in captivity under the Syrian government starting in 2012 and went silent in prison in 2015. Early this month his wife confirmed Khartabil had been executed in 2015.

Khartabil worked as a computer engineer and contributed to Mozilla and Wikipedia. A supporter of free access to knowledge and culture, Khartabil co-founded Syria’s first hackerspace, Aiki Lab, and led Creative Commons’ Syrian project.

The fellowship to honour Khartabil aims to promote free culture in various forms, including art, music, software, and community. On their official blog, Creative Commons said they would encourage applications from the Levant, Middle East, and North Africa.

Amazon Web Services is to act as a supporting partner and the fellows would receive a stipend of US$50 thousand over the course of ten months. The fellowship is to be awarded on a one-year basis, which could be renewed. Additionally, the organisations are to provide up to US$3000 for the candidates to purchase equipment and software.

Promoting candidates from “closed societies” from the countries with a history of oppression of freedom of expression and access to free knowledge, the fellowship laid three requirements for the eligibility. The applicants must have a history of contribution to the open source/access or free culture communities, and propose in their application an initiative promoting free culture values, and in which the fellowship would be their primary work focus. The fellowship applications are to be accepted from February, and the fellowship is to be awarded in April.

Apart from contributing to Mozilla and Red Hat, Bassel Khartabil developed “Aiki”, an open source framework which is currently used by Open Clip Art and Open Font Library. He was listed among Top Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, and given a Digital Freedom Award by the Index on Censorship.

Khartabil was arrested by the Syrian military in March 2012. Following time in a Syrian General Intelligence Directorate facility, nine months after his arrest he was transferred to Adra Prison, and permitted family visits. He was relocated to an undisclosed facility in October 2015, and executed soon after. His wife, Noura Ghazi Safadi, confirmed Khartabil’s death on August 1 via a Facebook post.